Misha B – The B Stands For Believe. Also Bisto: No, really, it was all about Gary this week wasn’t it? I imagine he saw himself fulfilling the role that Louis should really be fulfilling rather than retreating into the safe comforting bath of Louis catchphrases and smug meta that he has – the judge who tells it like it is, because all his acts are gone. Of course, in a way they are, because whatever direction the Marcus-train is heading in, it’s out of his hands now. So Misha? Got the benefit of his full Gregory Peck “To Kill A Mockingbird” courtroom sequence, with Tulisa and Louis cast the Mayella and Bob Ewell who traduced poor Misha’s opinion and ruined her forever. I don’t know who Boo Radley was. Maybe Craig? Anyway, Misha B was of course doomed regardless of what Gary said (and of course him heavily lampshading that she had no chance of winning was an extra spike driven in) and of what she did, so I can’t help thinking that what she did should have been better than a piss-weak version of “Dancin’ In The Steet” (*yawn*) and a Pink ballid. Oh and a Jessie J sing-off and a goodbye rap name-checking such genre-pioneers as Dermot O’Leary and waffle about her rollercoaster journey blah blah blah. If only her departure didn’t, despite all this, herald the worst X Factor Final 3 since the hell-days of Series 1.
Amelia Lily – She’s Dead Silly: Amelia probably got it worst from Barlow didn’t she? Of course the Little Mix fans are more numerous, and therefore more bonkers, at this point, so his dissing them was probably more at the root of all those people suddenly deciding that Gary is a SMUG TWAT WHO I REALLY USED TO LIKE BUT HAS RUINED HIS ENTIRE CAREER BY DOING THIS SHOW (like, the man recorded “Open Road”, don’t talk to him about career ruiners). But telling her her normal singing voice was crap, but her “shouting voice” (LOL) was really good at “cutting through” (such a compliment to pay!)? Laser-guided arsery, and only to be applauded. Really I haven’t disliked a performance as strongly as I disliked “Aint No Mountain High Enough” since the heady days of Laura White honking her way through soul classics. I knew we were onto a loser as soon as she said that the song was made famous by Marvin Gaye & Diana Ross. DON’T TRY AND BURY TAMMI TERRELL’S CONTRIBUTION TO MOTOWN ON MY WATCH, SHOW! But then she showed even less of an understanding of the song itself, washing every peak and trough out into the same dynamic of SHOUTING. As for the Avril Lavigne ballid…Well at least I know now what Tulisa’s been filling her musical education with that she feels she can ignore Aretha Franklin. Maybe if it was “Keep Holding On” (CHOON!) I’d be more sympathetic…
BixMix: Barlow’s final critique was reserved for Little Mix, with the comparatively mild sting of telling them that their vocals on “If I Were A Boy (I’d Do It Better Than You)” by Beyonce were sub-par for semifinalists. Which…they were in an ideal world where semifinalists on this show were able to sing well, but let’s face it, that hasn’t been true since Chico was almost a semifinalist, so whilst I applaud his idealism, it’s a moot point. Still, their voices were pretty ropey, but then given that St Tulisa sent them off to scale Mount Beyonce without even so much as a cheery St Bernard to guide them it’s no surprise they came back as a giant block of ice. I actually quite liked their first performance, if only because it felt like the sort of knocked-off half-considered “Motown Tribute” that Girls Aloud would release as a B-side or do in the Live Lounge or something, minus the hideous modernist “breakdown”. Obviously they would have cleaned up the vocals of whichever of the AnonyMixs it was that messed up the spoken word bit horribly, but for a BixMix performance these days I’ll take it. I AM regretting not starting a BixMix crying count though, as I feel as a mathematician I could have invented some whole new numbers up above infinity for people to study.
Marcus Collins: Can you imagine what it would have been like if some of the free-range Barlow wrath had been unleashed on Marcus this week? If he weren’t in Gary’s category, which he is contractually obliged to pretend to care about? You’d have to think he’d have something to say about “Can You Feel It?” surely. Something about how he could feel it, more specifically the flat notes, on the brain, like an acid wash. Or he could have gone where no-one else has poked their little noses, apart from poor foolish Danni that one time and pointed out that him singing about how nothing makes him feel like sunshine on a cloudy day like his girl was fooling nobody? Either way it might have helped him course-correct before a final where he looks like a near-cert to finish second to BixMix as being emblematic of all those male winners like Joe McElderry who we definitely hate and who could never have had a career, silly us for voting for them *self-flagelate self-flagelate*